In order to help maintain a calm and civil societal order, the Florida Legislature has articulated the types of unruly or disruptive actions that comprise a criminal breach of the peace.
Such offenses fall under the umbrella of Disorderly Conduct and can produce a series of undesirable consequences for those convicted of them, including incarceration, fines and more.
If you are facing allegations of this nature and wish to fight for your right to fair treatment before the law and in the Courts, a West Palm Beach disorderly conduct lawyer is ready and willing to aggressively advocate on your behalf. To discuss the specifics of your case and how a West Palm Beach defense attorney can assist you, call today.
Activities Constituting Disorderly Conduct in Florida
As provided by Fla. Stat. §877.03, disorderly conduct encompasses actions and conduct of the sort deemed to corrupt public morals, offend public decency or negatively impact the peace and quiet of those witnessing them. Brawling and fighting are also included in the statutory definition of disorderly conduct, and all such offenses subject accused parties to a second-degree misdemeanor. Given the relatively broad and subjective nature of the legislature’s definition of this offense, it is not surprising that the list of actions that may well give rise to such charges is similarly expansive. Among the types of behavior commonly charged as disorderly conduct that may warrant contact with a West Palm Beach lawyer are things such as:
- Arguing with the Police and drawing a crowd while doing so
- Fighting and other types of physical altercations
- Public use of obscene language
- Creation of unreasonable amounts of noise
- Obstruction of traffic
- Inciting of rioters
- Public intoxication
- Lewdness/indecent exposure
- Public nuisances
Consequences For a Disorderly Conduct Conviction
Though it may be true that on the spectrum of criminal penalties, those imposed for disorderly conduct are less severe than those for other offenses, the ramifications can still cause a great deal of upheaval in the lives of those who face them.
As a second degree misdemeanor, a conviction of this type is can bring incarceration of up to 60 days, along with the possibility of monetary fines reaching $500.
Unfortunately, such sanctions can result in job loss, financial hardship, social stigma and the creation of a criminal record which will follow the offender for a lifetime. Clearly, a zealous West Palm Beach attorney is essential after receiving disorderly conduct charges.
Defensive Strategies Inappropriate Misconduct
Though the prospect of fighting back against a charge of disorderly conduct may initially seem like an uphill battle, there are often multiple approaches that can prove successful for defendants.
Among these are arguments that the conduct in question was undertaken in self-defense, that it did not actually take place in a public area or that it constituted activity protected by the First Amendment.
Furthermore, because disorderly conduct charges of this nature are highly subjective and based largely on the perceptions of the arresting officer and eyewitnesses called to provide testimony, it is often possible for a skilled attorney in West Palm Beach to cast significant doubt on their observations and recollections. This can cause charges to be reduced or even dropped altogether in many instances.
How a Disorderly Conduct Attorney Can Help
We are often able to get Disorderly Charges Dismissed for first offenders and sometimes even those with prior history. Being found guilty of disorderly conduct can produce a surprisingly harsh array of ripple effects not just on clients, but also on their entire families. Damage to personal and professional reputation, loss of employment and other ongoing harm makes securing a strong defense vital to moving forward in a positive, productive way.
If you find yourself accused of a charge like this, a West Palm Beach disorderly conduct lawyer is prepared to offer the guidance and representation you seek in order to obtain the best result possible for you.